As the number of new COVID-19 cases grows, more and more countries are thinking of early coronavirus vaccine approval in order to control the transmission of the virus as well as the overall pandemic, specifically the US, where a program has been designed and running particularly for developing a vaccine as soon as possible.
Also known as the ‘Operation Warp Speed’, the program has been in the news in the country as well as all over the world as it is also said to play a role in the presidential campaign of the current president of the US, Donald Trump for next elections.
The president has publically announced during the summer that the country will have an approved drug by October, which is right before the presidential elections in November and expected to make a significant difference in the voting polls.
Regardless of its association with the presidential elections, an effective coronavirus vaccine is much needed at the moment given the worsening conditions of the coronavirus pandemic in the US.
Currently, around one hundred and sixty vaccine trials for the coronavirus are being held in different parts of the world. Only two out of these have approved a vaccine for usage on a limited amount of people.
One comes from Russia while the other was developed and launched by China. Both are not yet available to the general public and neither of the countries has released any data regarding the final results of the Phase III trial for the vaccines.
The Phase III trial or final phase of a clinical trial is very important as it is the largest in comparison with the first and second. It includes the highest number of people and can determine whether a vaccine is safe and effective.
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Without phase III, no vaccines or medicines are approved by health agencies around the world, which is why the vaccines launched by both China and Russia received criticism from the medical community.
Early coronavirus vaccine approval can do more harm than good, according to most health experts from around the globe as they are not tested. Some may protect against the coronavirus but damage the health in multiple other ways.
In addition to the medical community, the general public is also likely to doubt any vaccines whose clinical trials have not followed the standard approval and testing methods.
In the US, Operation Wrap Speed has its fair share of criticism from the public with the majority being doubtful of it solely because of its name since it suggests the primary goal is to develop the vaccine even if it may cause and other adverse effects.
A report by the Marist, NPR, and PBS NewsHour showed that as many as thirty-five percent of the Americans would not get a coronavirus vaccine.
At the same time, experts are worried that due to political pressure on health agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, an emergency use authorization may be issued to a coronavirus vaccine without conducting the fundamental phase III trial.
Hence, most believe that an early coronavirus vaccine approval in October will be harmful in the long run.